US government says no plea deals in FTX trial

47
2
US government says no plea deals in FTX trial

The US government said yesterday that Sam Bankman-Fried had not been offered any plea deals in the criminal case.

The lawyers for Bankman-Fried said they were not interested in a plea deal. The US Department of Justice did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Some of the former associates of FTX cofounders, including ex-Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX cofounder Gary Wang, pleaded guilty to fraud charges in December and have been cooperating with investigators.

The jury selection in the trial started on Tuesday, and the two sides are not expected to give their opening statements until Wednesday. From a pool of 50 potential jurors, lawyers will select 12 jurors and six alternates.

The criminal trial will focus on the historic collapse of the FTX crypto exchange platform.

Bankman-Fried is being charged with orchestrating a scheme to defraud FTX customers and investors out of billions of dollars.

Bankman-Fried was accused of borrowing money from customer accounts in order to fund bets via Alameda Research, an affiliate hedge fund. He directed employees to develop programming code that enabled unlimited funds to move between the companies quickly and quietly, prosecutors alleged in their indictment.

The former FTX CEO is facing seven counts of wire fraud and money laundering, and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Since the FTX collapse, Bankman-Fried has argued that the people who took over FTX misunderstood his goals and he has tried to put blame on other executives for the platform's collapse.

The trial is expected to last six weeks, and Ellison and Wang are expected to testify. Bankman-Fried could face up to life in prison if convicted.